STARRING EFFORT: Former Maclean High half Nathan Hollis made his first grade debut for Lower Clarence Magpies.
STARRING EFFORT: Former Maclean High half Nathan Hollis made his first grade debut for Lower Clarence Magpies. Matthew Elkerton

Fatigue costs Lower Clarence in Kyogle clash

RUGBY LEAGUE: "We might not have the two points yet, but they aren't far off.”

That was the message from Lower Clarence Magpies leader Alex McMillan, after the club's first grade side struggled to maintain pressure late against Kyogle.

The Magpies surrendered a 12-point half time lead at New Park, conceding a run of late tries, to finish on the wrong end of a 38-20 scoreline.

McMillan, who is part of a five-man leadership group spearheading the Magpies charge in 2018, said it was a similar story to their first round loss against Cudgen, in which fatigue cost the side.

"We put in a great 60 minutes or so, but we just ran out of gas late in the game,” he said. "It was hot and humid, and coming out for the second half we just lost our control of the ball. In that weather, all the extra defence took its toll.”

But with positive signs littered throughout the first half, McMillan believes the Magpies are not far off from finding the right balance.

""We have been in every game we have played so far, it is just about converting our good starts into full 80 minute performances,” he said.

"It is just about continuing to push the fitness of the players during the week. Once we get that up there, I think the wins will definitely come.”

It was also a first grade debut for Under 18s star Nathan Hollis, who after playing a full 80 minutes in the junior ranks, took up a position in the centres for the Magpies.

"Nathan played really well and he defended his heart out. He had some influential carries of the ball as well which was really good to see,” McMillan said.

"It also gave us a chance to play Dan (Randall) in the front row, which was a good move. I think moving forward we might look at making it a permanent move.”



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